Newport Beach lifeguards made national news–especially Fox News national news–a few years back after it was disclosed its top earner received $211,000 in pay and benefits, including a $400 sun protection allowance.
Fast forward a couple years and the city was considering layoffs due to rising pension costs. Fast forward to this coming Tuesday night, and they're considering outsourcing lifeguards.
"It's a chance to see what proposals are out there," City Manager Dave Kiff reportedly told the Daily Pilot about consideration of outsourcing lifeguard services for city beaches in Corona del Mar.
Kiff added, "Our goal is to try to do things as efficiently as possible with the same quality of service." And for anyone shaking in their flip-flops, Kiff added none of the 13 full-time city lifeguards would be let go. They just won't be replaced when they quit, get fired or retire.
If the proposal makes sense to the council, of course.
Actually, I found the coverage of the $200k lifeguard kind of unfair because many media noisemakers made it sound like all city lifeguards, including the 150-200 part-timers hired for the summer, earned that much. Part-timers earn modest hourly pay.
Meanwhile, it was what a senior, long-time, full-time city employee who pulled down for roughly the same pay scale and responsibilities as peace officers. Most of the full-timers earn just shy of $100,000. (Not that a journo surviving on crumbs doesn't think all of 'em are overpaid.)
This is just more of the continued assault on rising pensions for government workers, for as Kiff summed it up in the Pilot, "The lifeguards are not the bad guys here. The pension system and its costs is the problem."